SENATORIAL CANDIDATES Susan “Toots” Ople and Roman Romulo said improving the country’s education system would be one of their legislative agendas should they win in this year’s elections.
Overseas Filipino workers advocate and Nacionalista Party bet Ople said she would push for the passage of a Magna Carta for Students.
The Artlet alumna also included providing free and accessible WiFi to both private and public schools in her platform, noting this learning investment would give the youth a competitive edge.
Meanwhile, Romulo laid down the educational laws he sponsored and authored as the representative of Pasig City such as the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act and Open Distance Learning Act.
“Ang mga ginawa po natin ay [siniguro] na meron tayong mga bagong batas na masisigurado ‘yung constitutional mandate na access to quality education,” he said.
Both senate hopefuls said K to 12 is necessary to the improvement of the country’s education system but the Department of Education is not fully prepared for its implementation.
Romulo said the lack of equipment and facilities and displacement of teachers remain as problems. “Kung pwedeng isuspende [ang K to 12], bakit hindi?”
Ople said the program gives the high school students the wrong assumption that they will have jobs right after graduation. “Let’s not delude ourselves na ang trabahong naghihintay ay ‘yung trabahong kayang buhayin ang pamilya.”
On the recent issue of legalizing same-sex marriage, Ople and Romulo said all forms of discrimination must be removed first.
“Mahirap siyang (same-sex marriage) ipasa. It would be like moving mountains but I am very much in favor [of] anti-discrimination for the LGBT community,” Ople said.
Furthermore, Romulo commented on the issue of legalizing divorce in the country, saying that marriage should be taken seriously.
Ople, however, said she wanted women to be given protection and easy access to legal help, especially those living in remote areas. “Justice is at reach for the people who can afford good lawyers. It is not just in divorce but in other court proceedings as well.”
Ople also said she is open on having a federal-type government but with “proper safeguards,” while Romulo said there should be more focus on strengthening local governments.
Titled “I AM: Senatorial Forum 2016,” the event was spearheaded by the Arts and Letters Student Council, University of the Philippines College of Arts and Letters Student Council, and De La Salle University Liberal Arts College Student Government. F KRYSTAL GAYLE R. DIGAY